The Power of Lanois – in retrospect

Well I hold my hands up, had I heard of Daniel Lanois? The answer was no! Well I hadn’t but what an impressive musical history this man has.

Lanois is an established recording artist in his own right. although he is probably best known as a producer to such artists as Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Brian Eno.  He also produced albums for U2 this includes the album The Joshua Tree.

Daniel has won seven Grammy awards and been nominated for a further four… Impressive credentials, most definitely.

I walked into the packed arena not quite knowing what to expect. The crowd were not your typical saturday night rockers. In fact they were rather an eclectic bunch – pretty quiet too. But once Lanois started playing I could hear why. This man mesmerised the crowd with his eclectic musical style that was somewhere between  country, tribal, rock and rave. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the sound – but did I need to? I think not. His music spoke for itself. the trippy visual extravaganza in the background only added to the experience.

I didn’t know this guy, but, oh boy! Did I know his music. His musical influence is so great that his set (a pretty ad hoc one, so his keyboard player told me) seemed familiar. Rolling Stone called Daniel Lanois the ‘most important record producer to emerge in the eighties.”

I can honestly say that I was moved to tears during his performance. He played the steel guitar beautifully and a dreamlike ambience filled the auditorium.

An eclectic performance that went from the almost angelic to electronic drum machines and white noise crashing down strangely reminiscent of a 90’s Spiral Tribe event.

The Encore was beautiful Lanois and the band were joined by Rocco DeLuca and performed DeLuca’s track Congretate – it was this that drew me to tears… This was an experience I am unlikely to forget.

Lanois music has both energy and power. He is a man that is totally at one with whatever instrument he chooses to play. I came away in total awe of this guy, that hid beneath the peak of his baseball cap most of the night.

I can only apologise for the lateness of this review. but it is something where I just did not know where to start… Now thats a first!

Daniel Lanois  at Islington Assembly Hall London on 14 April 2015